Settlement Finally Reached in Panos Spyros Medical Malpractice Case

Over 5 years ago, Panos Spyros was accused of over 256 medical malpractice cases in the realm of orthopedic surgery. He was released from Federal prison in March of 2017 for health care fraud after pleading guilty.
Panos was accused of mishandling surgeries and performing surgeries that were not needed. Pam Bisaccia, one victim of Panos' surgeries, stated that after performing surgeries on her Achilles heel she is unable to walk.
She stated, "Shaving my legs feels like ripping my skin off... Each step feels like walking on hot coals."
Panos was said to see on the upwards of 90 patients in a single day and performed 20 surgeries a day. Panos will still not admit to medical lawlessness as part of the possible $40 million settlement.
A point-based system has been created based on each individual claim has been created to establish how much damage had been done per patient. Each point being worth $2,500.
Panos' fraudulent surgeries and medical care claims are being paid out by Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company and Healthcare Professionals Insurance Company.
Panos is just one example of how doctors can bring suffering to the patients they see. If you or a loved one has been involved in an instance where you think your doctor may have caused you pain or suffering, contact our staff today. In cases like these, time is of the essence, so act now before it is too late.


East Texas Matters interviews Jack Walker about ETMC Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

KETK's Cara Prichard recently spoke to Jack Walker of Martin Walker, P.C. in regards to the recent medical malpractice case regarding East Texas Medical Center hospital.


East Texas Hospital Hit with $43M Negligence Verdict after Patient Abandoned by Suspended Doctor

Martin Walker PC lawyers win gross negligence finding, $25M in punitive damages

TYLER, Texas – A jury has awarded a $43.32 million verdict against Tyler-based East Texas Medical Center and one of its doctors, finding the hospital grossly negligent in its retention and supervision of a doctor on probation whose abandonment and improper care led to a patient’s complete loss of his quality of life and ability to provide for his family.
In reaching the gross negligence verdict, jurors agreed that the hospital had put its patients in extreme risk by allowing Dr. Gary Boyd to treat them even though the Texas Medical Board had placed him on probation which automatically suspended his hospital privileges pursuant to the hospital’s bylaws and policies.
Lawyers from Tyler-based Martin Walker PC argued the hospital’s bylaws should have prevented Dr. Boyd from treating 61-year-old Billy Pierce who was hospitalized with stomach pain and vomiting in April 2014. Jurors heard testimony that Dr. Boyd erroneously concluded that Mr. Pierce had an anatomical abnormality that made it impossible to surgically remove bile duct stones.
Mr. Pierce was in an induced coma for more than a month and effectively abandoned by Dr. Boyd and the hospital, the Martin Walker trial team argued. When the hospital finally sought a second opinion, the new doctor rejected Dr. Boyd’s diagnosis and performed surgery without complication.
“Hospitals have a supreme duty to provide safe and effective care to patients, and that duty must come before everything else,” said Martin Walker attorney Reid Martin, who along with name partner Jack Walker and attorney Marisa Schouten represented Mr. Pierce. “By allowing a dangerous doctor, who had lost his hospital privileges to continue to treat patients, this was a tragedy waiting to happen.”
Dr. Boyd was put on probation in June 2013 after the Texas Medical Board found glaring deficiencies in his treatment of a patient in a case similar to Mr. Pierce’s. In that matter, the medical board found that Dr. Boyd failed to adequately document a patient’s records, inaccurately diagnosed the patient, and performed medically unnecessary procedures. For example, the board found that Dr. Boyd had inaccurately described the location of a patient’s ulcer and claimed that he had performed multiple biopsies to test for cancer when he had not.
The jury verdict included $18.57 million for past and future pain, anguish, loss of earning capacity, and medical care and expenses. The jury found that the hospital was 90 percent liable for the damages, while Dr. Boyd was 10 percent liable. With the gross negligence finding, the jury ordered $25 million in exemplary damages, finding that the hospital’s conduct involved an extreme risk of potential harm to others.
The case is Billy Pierce v East Texas Medical Center and Dr. Gary Boyd and the ETMC Digestive Disease Center, Cause No. 16-0853-C in the 241st District Court in Smith County.
Martin Walker PC is a Tyler-based law firm with significant trial expertise representing individuals and businesses in high-stakes litigation, including medical malpractice, catastrophic injuries involving 18-wheeler accidents, oilfield injuries, wrongful death, and product liability. For more information visit: http://www.martinwalkerlaw.com/


Be Wary Of Hospital Apologies & Settlements

Medical Malpractice lawsuits are never comfortable for anyone. For patients, it means either something involving their medical care went wrong as part of an honest mistake, or worse, that the medical staff treating them made a life-changing error because they were not doing their jobs properly. For hospitals and clinics, even honest mistakes can be costly, and the threat of fraudulent medical malpractice claims is all too real.

Medical mistakes kill something on the order of 250,000 Americans each year, and for many hospitals and clinics, standard operating procedure for dealing with medical malpractice claims has been to get their lawyers involved and deny wrongdoing even if it is clear that the hospital or its staff was at fault. This certainly helps hospitals and clinics avoid paying out to dishonest patients making fraudulent claims, but it also greatly extends the period of worry and suffering individuals and their families go through while waiting for the legal process to run its course. That can add months or years of uncertainty to an already painful or troubling situation.

In the last few years, some hospitals have been trying a new approach. Instead of denying and defending against every complaint, a slowly growing handful of hospitals are taking an approach of including patients in their initial investigations, quickly sharing the results of those investigations with their patients, and offering an apology and full compensation if the hospital finds there were mistakes or negligence that lead to the patient being harmed. When this new approach works, it is good for both the hospital and the patient. Patients are compensated more quickly and the hospital or clinic is able to avoid a costly lawsuit. An article at MedCity News details a couple of examples where this approach has worked.

The problem with this approach, however, is that even well meaning programs of open investigation and quick compensation are still being run by the hospitals themselves. While some or many of these programs may be honest efforts to do the right thing, there is a risk that such programs could be abused to downplay findings or negotiate overly small settlements with patients while encouraging them not to get a lawyer involved. Hospitals could even use such a program to quickly resolve unwinnable cases while continuing the more widely used policy of denying and defending borderline cases where the settlement of a medical malpractice lawsuit might be more costly than its defense.

At the end of the day, a well run hospital settlement policy can help resolve medical accidents more quickly and smoothly, but you should always have an experienced medical malpractice lawyer on your side if only to make sure you or your loved one is being treated properly.

At Martin Walker, P.C., we have been handling medical malpractice cases in Tyler and East Texas for well over a decade. We'd be happy to talk with you and give you a free medical malpractice case evaluation. To get in contact with us, you can call us at (903) 526-1600, email us at info@martinwalkerlaw.com, or use the info listed on our Contact Page.


Three Things To Avoid After A Car Accident

Being in an accident can be a stressful time. It often involves things we are not familiar with like quickly finding a new vehicle to drive, dealing with tow companies and repair shops, and having to negotiate with one or more insurance companies. There are a lot of things you can do to make the whole process easier on yourself, like keeping detailed notes and being sure not to throw any documentation or bills away.
But there are also some common mistakes those who have been in an auto accident make that can derail your recovery and insurance claim process after an accident. For the smoothest experience, you’ll want to avoid:

  1. Talking about your accident on social media.
    We are all so connected these days that we generally feel free to share our experiences, good and bad, with our friends and loved ones over social media. Most of the time this is ok. But when you are dealing with things like insurance claims and possible lawsuits after a car accident, even the most normal of social media posts can be twisted against you.As a simple rule, it’s best to stay off social media completely until all aspects of your accident and associated negotiations are complete.
  2. Waiting Too Long. 
    Waiting too long to file an insurance claim or lawsuit can cause your case to be dismissed before it even begins. If you think you have any possibility of needing to make a claim or file a lawsuit you should get legal help as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the greater the chance something will come up that takes your time away from following up on your accident, and before you know it, it can be too late to act.
  3. Lying about your injuries or your car accident.
    It may sound far-fetched, but more people than you might think will try and play up their injuries or downplay their responsibly for their part of an auto accident. The legal process and rules regarding injury and damage claims are often exacting and even mistruths as small as white lies can come back to haunt you.Instead, it’s best to keep ever record and write or type yourself accurate and honest notes about your experience following your accident. That way both you and your lawyer can defend you with confidence. When it comes to car accident claims, honesty really is the best policy.

If you avoid these common pitfalls, you can help make the process of recovering from a car accident much easier. If you have any questions about the legal or insurance process relating to your car accident, give the attorneys at Martin Walker, P.C. a call. We’ll be happy to help you evaluate your case and let you know about your options.


Texas Leads US in ATV Related Deaths

All-Terrain Vehicles can be a lot of fun if operated properly and with safety in mind. Unfortunately, ATVs are also heavy and powerful, and if mishandled can be dangerous or even deadly to their drivers, passengers, and to nearby bystanders. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there are around 700 fatalities and 100,000 injuries involving ATVs each year. When looking at historical data, the CPSC also notes that Texas has had more ATV related deaths over the past thirty than any other state.
Like car accidents, ATV accidents come in many forms. Some of the most common ATV related accidents are caused by:

  • Traveling too quickly over unsuitable terrain
  • Attempting to carry or haul items that exceed an ATV's capabilities
  • Attempting to climb hills that are too steep
  • Allowing children to operate ATVs that are too large for them
  • Equipment failures, such as with an ATV's throttle, steering, or suspension systems

If you or a loved one has suffered because of an ATV accident, whether it was because of a defect or because of someone else's negligent behavior, you may be entitled to compensation from your health insurance company and from the person or company who caused the accident. At Martin Walker, P.C., we specialize in helping the people of Tyler and East Texas get the compensation they are owed.
For a free case evaluation, you can contact us at (903) 526-1600, by email at info@martinwalkerlaw.com, or by using the form at the bottom of our Contact Page.


Followup: New Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder

Last year, we highlighted some of the verdicts being awarded against Johnson & Johnson and their talcum powder products. Combined, two of the biggest awards amounted to a little over $100 million paid to women who developed cancers after using Johnson & Johnson's products. Studies had pointed to dangers of the products as far back as the 1970's but the products remained on sale even to the modern day. Last year we also noted that more than 1,000 other women had filed suit against the company, and now we've seen another one of those lawsuits reach a conclusion.
NBC News reported that on May 4th, 2017, a woman in Virginia was awarded a record-setting verdict of $110.5 million after using Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder products for over 40 years. The drug company stated that it would appeal the decision, but for now the case will stand as one of the largest amounts awarded in a cancer lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has developed or died from ovarian cancer and would like more details on the risks of talcum powder, please contact Martin Walker Law at (903) 526-1600 or by emailing us at info@martinwalkerlaw.com


Is An Old Personal Injury Legal Theory Losing Its Grip

The rules governing personal injury lawsuits can be complex and can change over time. A recent article in the Huffington Post brought up one such shift that we as attorneys must stay on top of in order to best represent our clients. The article gave an overview of the legal doctrine of “res ipsa loquitur” and how it can help or hurt someone pursuing a personal injury or auto accident lawsuit.

“Res ipsa loquitur” says that in some liability cases the cause of an accident or injury is obvious enough that the results speak for themselves. In these instances, the person injured does not have to prove the exact cause of the accident because it’s clear enough to everyone involved what happened. But what if the party being sued disagrees? Often, the courts must decide on a case by case basis whether to allow a personal injury lawsuit based on res ipsa loquitur.

As the Huffington Post notes, cases based on res ipsa loquitur are becoming increasingly rare for a variety of reasons. More often than not, someone injured due to an accident or negligence will need to prove the other party was at fault. That is why we always recommend that you find an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the often complicated laws surrounding personal injury accident cases.

At Martin Walker P.C. we specialize in personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits. If you or a loved one were injured and have questions about your legal options, contact us for a free consultation.